Saturday, December 5, 2015

Freebies for Your Winter Writing Center!

Hi, Teaching Friends!

Have you tried using whole class journals? They're an easy way to add a little spark to your writing center choices!

If you haven't tried whole class journals yet, let me give you a quick rundown on what they're all about. Instead of writing on paper or in their own journals, writing journals give your students a place to collect of their writing on the same topic. You provide the writing prompt on the cover, and all of the writing in each of the journals will be on the same topic. The combination of the prompt and the opportunity to take a peek at their friends' writing will help motivate even your reluctant writers!

Here's a free seasonal set for you, filled with snowy options for writing! Read on for some ideas for using whole class journals.

Whole class journals are simple to put together, whether you choose to print on cardstock, laminate, and bind with blank pages, or just glue the cover to the front of a spiral bound notebook. Sometimes you might want to model writing a story for the first page, and give some reminders for the procedures and guidelines you have for the use of the journals ... use one/both sides of the page, story length, etc.

Then just put the journals in your writing center as an option.  I usually kept a checklist of student names on the inside cover, for them to mark off their names after they wrote. Another fun option is to let each of your students put a sticker on the cover or first page after writing.

The set above has both color and grayscale options.  Choosing the grayscale will save you some ink, of course, but it's also a nice option because when one of your students is the artist who colors the cover illustrations, there's more ownership, and of course that increases the likelihood that your journals will be treated with the care they deserve!

Although these are writing journals, they also become very popular reading materials in the classroom! Put your finished journals with other class books you've made and they'll be flying off the shelf! The children love to read each others' stories, and of course, they love to read their own work over and over, too! {Read, "fluency boosters"!}

Once you get started using these journals, you'll find that new ideas for topics will come easily. As a matter of fact, my first graders frequently supplied me with terrific suggestions, from writing about their favorite books that we'd shared to journals about the field trips they wished we could take (no limits to a firstie's imagination on that topic!).

Have fun with your new journals this month!  Happy Teaching!

No comments:

Post a Comment